Rishi Sunak criticised for ‘poorly judged’ NFT stunt as households are hammered by cost of living
Rishi Sunak has announced plans for the Royal Mint to release an NFT, four days after a huge rise in energy bills kicked in leaving households struggling to cope.
The Treasury unveiled the plan on Monday, revealing it is “working with the Royal Mint on a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) this summer as an emblem of the forward-looking approach the UK is determined to take”.
Mr Sunak, who owns a holiday home in Santa Monica, California, said in a press release: “It’s my ambition to make the UK a global hub for cryptoasset technology.”
Promoters of NFTs, a form of Blockchain-based asset similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, claim they hold the power to transform the economy.
But critics say they are of little proven value or utility, waste an immense amount of energy, and exist in a tech-fuelled bubble rife with scams and exploitation.
Sceptics attacked the timing of Mr Sunak’s announcement, which comes just days after the rise in the energy price cap that will leave households shelling out hundreds of pounds more to heat their homes.
Labour MP and shadow treasury minister Tulip Siddiq tore into the “poorly-judged gimmick, coming days after the biggest energy price hike in history” and said that the move was an “insult to families across the UK who are struggling to get by.”
She added: “Yet again, Rishi Sunak has shown how totally out of touch he is with the cost of living crisis facing families, pensioners and businesses. We need a serious strategy to safely harness the potential of crypto technology. This isn’t it.”
The energy price cap increased a record-breaking amount this spring, with Ofgem allowing suppliers to charge 50 per cent more on electricity and gas bills.
As a result of this massive hike, the average household can expect to spend an extra £620 a year on gas and electricity.
This content was originally published here.